Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Siluriformes
(Catfish) > Clariidae
Etymology: Clarias: Greek, chlaros = lively, in reference to the ability of the fish to live for a long time out of water. More on author: Weber.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; demersal. Tropical; 6°N - 30°S
Africa: Zambezi, Kafue and Shire Rivers; Upper Congo system; Lakes Tanganyika, Bangweulu, Kobo, Niumbe, Mweru and Malawi; Chobe, Okavango and Cunene Rivers; Pungwe, Sabi, Lundi Rivers and Zimbabwean tributaries of the Limpopo River; Incomati, Pongolo and Umgeni rivers and Lake Sibaya in Natal and Transvaal tributaries of the Limpopo (Ref. 3820). Also in the middle Congo (Ref. 106245), including the Ubangi (Ref. 248) and several southern tributaries of the Kasai (Ref. 248, 11970).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3820)
soft rays: 64 - 76;
Vertebrae: 56 - 61. Head rectangular in dorsal outline; snout broadly rounded; eyes dorsally located. Frontal fontanelle `knife-shaped'; occipital fontanelle very long and oval-shaped. The `dermosphenotic' and supraorbital bones become joined in specimens of 80-90 mm SL. Tooth plates relatively small. Dorsal and anal fins not confluent with caudal fins. gill rakers relatively long, slender and distantly set. Openings of the secondary sensory canals arranged in regular pattern on the flanks.
Lives in vegetated areas in shallow and swampy places around the lake. Occasionally found in cataracts, hiding under rocks (Ref. 248). The species is omnivorous (Ref. 78218) and feeds on insects (Coleoptera, ants, Chironomid larvae) (Ref. 248 & 5595), plant seeds and other fishes (Ref. 78218).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Teugels, G.G., 1986. A systematic revision of the African species of the genus Clarias (Pisces; Clariidae). Ann. Mus. R. Afr. Centr., Sci. Zool., 247:199 p. (Ref. 248)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01000 (0.00532 - 0.01881), b=3.04 (2.88 - 3.20), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.5 ±0.52 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .